These signs your husband is cheating with a coworker can help nip a problem in the bud. We’ll look at the signs he likes someone, the signs he’s actually cheating and (most importantly) what you can do about it.
Some basic signs (we’ll get into more depth in a moment):
- If he starts hiding his phone and/or computer when he didn’t before. Or (worse) hides or deletes conversations.
- Is he suddenly bringing up a coworker a lot? Or (worse) does he start comparing you to them?
- Sudden changes in appearance without good reason.
- Your husband becoming easily irritated. Picking fights over trivial things.
- Business trips or long hours springing up a lot more often without reason.
Note: When you’re looking for signs of cheating you need to be really careful. No matter which website you’re looking at (including this one) nobody else knows your husband. All of these signs your husband is cheating with a coworker (or anyone for that matter) needs to be taken in the context of your marriage. If you’d like to look more specifically at your marriage then take the marriage assessment quiz.
How Common is Cheating at Work?
Make sure you’re sitting down for this one.
Office affairs are more common than you might have expected. A survey of 700 office workers in the US showed 19% admitted to cheating with a coworker and 44% knew a colleague who cheated on a business trip.
If you’re just playing the numbers then statistically you’re in the clear but, if you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet you have a reason to suspect something is up and workplace affairs clearly happen.
A coworker is a prime opening for emotional affairs. It’s someone they spend a lot of time with, someone they share a common interest (even if it’s just hated of the boss) and someone they don’t have to deal with the day-to-day grind with.
Like most affairs, a connection like this can seem easier. With your spouse, you’ll have small minor arguments over things like money or daily tasks. While the connection with your partner is going to be closer than with colleagues they also don’t have the same problems.
Emotional affairs start with an emotional connection at work and often are no more than a friendship. That, in itself, is perfectly normal and healthy. The problem starts to become when that connection goes beyond what he feels with his spouse. If he’s sharing things with this person that he’s not sharing with you then we start to have a problem.
Emotional affairs also tend can cause enough problems in a marriage and (more often than not) can lead to a physical affair if left unchecked.
The ‘Work Spouse’
You might have heard the term work spouse or work wife before. Coworkers who spend so much time together that people jokingly call them married at the office.
These relationships can absolutely just be platonic and they’re so common the term is practically a cliche.
It’s perfectly normal for your husband to be close to the people he works with for most of the work and some signs your husband is cheating with a coworker are a lot clearer than others.
Amber Alerts: Signs Husband Likes Coworker
Let’s start with the signs that there might be something for you to deal with.
I don’t want to get too ‘high school’ here but let’s start by looking for signs your husband likes a coworker. And I mean he like likes them. Signs he’s potentially interested in something more than friendship.
Note: To be very clear here you shouldn’t be trying to chase your husband away from female friends at work (unless you’ve got some real reason to do so). We’re looking for signs that there’s more than just a friendship at play here.
The problem with spotting this kind of connection is often even if your husband knows it’s emotional infidelity they reason to themselves that they’re not physically cheating so they’re doing no wrong. Our modern-day forms of communication are really blurring the lines between what is, and isn’t, easily spotted as cheating.
He Takes More Pride in His Appearance Suddenly
Maybe he’s ironing his shirt for a change or going to the gym more often.
I see this commonly touted as a clear sign he’s cheating but I really don’t agree on that one. Your partner might just be making more of an effort to look good for a client or a boss. He might be going to the gym because he wants his sex life with you to pick up.
I don’t consider this one a big warning sign but again, in the context of everything else, it might be noteworthy. It might be that he’s suddenly trying to get the attention of a coworker and wants to impress her.
Husband Talks About Female Coworker… A Little Too Much
It’s one thing to mention a friend or coworker to your spouse. My husband has a loveable but very eccentric coworker and I love hearing stories about what he gets up to.
The problem starts to arise when it becomes too frequent. Constantly bringing them up can be a sign that he knows he’s too close to this woman and he’s trying to offset his guilt by constantly bringing her up. If he’s not physically sleeping with her and you know about her then… what’s the harm?
On the more worrying side, he could already be having a physical affair and it’s new and exciting so he wants to talk about it in the only way he can. Worse yet is if he starts comparing you to her – but we’ll get to that a little later on.
Or Suddenly Stops Mentioning Her At All
This is why it’s tough to spot signs your husband likes a coworker. It might be a sign if they mention their coworker more but it’s also potentially a sign if they completely stop talking about her. If he feels guilty about his feelings for a coworker he might stop bringing her up entirely.
Basically, the worrying sign is abrupt change and even then it might just be that they work together with less or there’s nothing there to be worried about.
Other Minor Signs
I’ll mention these for the sake of completeness because you will commonly hear them and they might be useful. I would really want to see these in the context of other signs however, on their own there are many other things it could be.
- Suddenly increased time spent at the office.
- Sudden business trips.
- He suddenly seems happier at the office.
Red Alerts: Signs Husband Is Cheating at Work
These signs are… worse. Again, one of these doesn’t automatically mean he’s cheating. I don’t know your husband or your marriage. Any of these could have a personally reasonable explanation but they can also certainly be signs of cheating.
He’s Protective of His Phone or Computer
We’re becoming more connected in both our personal and professional life so it’s probably common for him to speak to coworkers often. This is actually a good thing for you because not only is this one of the easier to spot signs your husband is cheating with a coworker, it can also lead you to find out the details.
I’ve gone into apps to spy on your spouse in more detail. Again, simply talking to a female friend is not a problem. The problem is if he starts to hide it from you.
- Hiding his phone and taking it with him when he wouldn’t normally.
- Deleting messages or using a hidden message feature.
- Lying about who he’s talking to.
Again, I’ve covered all of this in detail already (including a look at using spy software to see what’s going on) in the link above and looked at some ways you can change the culture of phone sharing in your marriage to find out if this really is a problem.
Comparing You to His Coworker
Talking about her is one thing but comparing you to her is quite another.
This one could actually go under the amber alert section as well because it really depends on the comparison. If he’s constantly telling you that you’re better in some way to his coworker it can be a sign of guilt and more likely a sign your husband likes a coworker and has a feeling there’s something to feel guilty about but isn’t physically cheating.
If he’s putting you in a bad light in the comparison then we’re straight into the red-light section. A common sign of cheating is framing the situation in a way that makes you the villain of the story and that generally means making it your fault.
Or the Opposite – He Doesn’t Discuss Work At All
This one is probably less frequent but I’ve seen it happen.
If your husband feels guilty and scared of being caught he might try and distance you and his coworker mentally. He won’t want you involved in that world at all and won’t bring it up for fear of slipping up accidentally.
He Doesn’t Want You Around the Workplace
Similar to having an emotional disconnect between you and his coworker he won’t want you physically around.
Maybe his coworkers don’t know he’s married or maybe he doesn’t want you hearing something about the affair. If there’s a sudden drop in being around his friends from the office it might be he’s just trying to save you from another dull office party or there might be something going on.
One of the most common signs of cheating, in general, can be a rise in arguments over seemingly small things. Again, the mentality of a cheater will very rarely allow them to think they’re doing wrong. Humans are hard-wired to avoid uncomfortable thoughts like this so we’ll change our frame of reality to suit our actions.
In this case, it’s fine for him to cheat because “life is so unbearable and you make him miserable”. At least, that’s how it’ll seem if they constantly pick at you over small things and start arguments constantly. It’s a textbook sign of cheating.
Ignore the ‘Gut Feeling’
I’ve seen this given out branded as ‘marriage advice’ far too often.
You are the best person to figure out if your husband is cheating because you’re the only one who knows your husband, knows the marriage and knows what is normal. These signs and, in fact, all the marriage advice I offer should be taken into the context of your marriage.
This does not mean you should trust your gut.
I shudder to think of how many marriages this awful advice has ruined. How many people caused problems in their marriage because they labeled self-esteem issues as a ‘gut feeling’.
I’m not saying you need to bottle up your feelings. In fact, my conclusion to this whole thing is the opposite (I’m going to suggest you talk to him either way) but don’t cause problems in your marriage because your ‘gut’ tells you to. Look for signs and it’s a good idea to work on problem areas of your marriage either way.
My gut tells me I should eat a tub of ice cream for breakfast with my coffee. That doesn’t make it a good idea.
What to Do When You Suspect Your Spouse is Cheating
So maybe some of these cheaters’ signs are starting to sound all too familiar? What do you actually do now?
It really depends on what you’re seeing. If you firmly suspect something is going on then you either need to start collecting evidence or get them to tell the truth about cheating. Try to avoid rushing into a conversation where emotions are going to be calling the shots. Allow yourself time to process what you do (and do not) know and where you want to go next.
If you know your spouse is cheating then we’re on a whole other level. I have a full guide on how to save your marriage which I do suggest reading but, again, don’t rush to making any immediate choices.
Whether it’s emotional or physical cheating with a coworker, infidelity is absolutely something you can come back from if that’s what you want to do.
Again, a lot of this advice is all general. I don’t know you, your husband or your marriage. Whether you’re taking advice from me or someone else it always has to be in the context of your marriage. My husband probably won’t talk about his coworkers the same way as yours will about his – so what’s normal for one would be a worrying sign in the other.
If you’d like further advice, tell me what you’re dealing with.
Talk to Him Either Way
If you are feeling uneasy about your husband’s connection with a coworker but you don’t see signs he is cheating then you can still talk to him.
It might be that you have nothing to worry about at all and that doesn’t mean he should completely avoid coworkers of the opposite sex, it just means he should take your feelings into account and maybe invite you to more boring office parties so you get a face to face.